Are You Ready For Mobilegeddon? How To Avoid Potential Pitfalls From Googles Latest Update

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Mobile devices such as phones and tablets have been outselling desktop computers for years. This has resulted in mobile accounting for more than half of all organic searches. Getting that coveted number 1 ranking on mobile search results is now more important than ever. For years, Google has been urging webmasters to make their sites more responsive to mobile devices because of this trend.

The latest algorithm update from Google now makes mobile friendliness mandatory. This is if you want to hold on to your top mobile search ranking. Many have termed it as “Mobilegeddon”, and its impact is expected to be life changing for businesses. Here is all you need to know about this latest Google search update, and how to avoid falling foul of it.

The problem with mobile

Many websites are designed with the desktop user in mind. This is because searches have traditionally originated from such devices. However, the rapid rise of mobile use requires altering all sites to be friendlier to mobile devices.

This is an extra design cost especially for small businesses, who consequently neglected it. This resulted in problems for mobile users when they access a website on their phone. They include:

•Media that is not playable, especially video
•Blank web pages
•Slow loading pages
•Incorrect redirects to non mobile URLs
•404 errors for mobile users only
How the latest Google update impacts search

Google is now trying to fix this problem in order to provide more relevant mobile search results. Content and relevancy will always be king when it comes to search. However, Google is now placing greater importance on user experience as well.

This is by ranking sites that are optimized for mobile higher than those that are not. Any website that is not mobile responsive will therefore be demoted on search results pages. At the same time, those that optimized for mobile will now enjoy much higher rankings.

Why is this important?

Every Google algorithm update such as Panda, Penguin, or Hummingbird has shifted billions of dollars in revenue from certain sites to others. With Google directing up to two thirds of all traffic to websites, a low ranking can spell doom and disaster for online revenues. Having a mobile friendly site now promises lucrative opportunities for businesses that can adjust to the latest upgrade.

Only mobile search will be affected

It is important to note that this upgrade will only affect search rankings on mobile devices such as smartphones. Search rankings on desktops and laptops will not be affected. This is cold comfort for webmasters, since mobile is now the future of ecommerce.

Furthermore, mobile searches are more likely to result in conversions than desktop searches. For example, a mobile user searching for a restaurant is more likely to be looking for a place to have lunch in your locality, than a user sitting miles away at home on their computer.

How you can avoid Mobilegeddon

Algorithm updates from Google usually arrive unexpectedly and without warning. Considering their impact, webmasters have learned to fear them. Luckily, the mobile update was announced two months earlier by Google, giving sites ample time to make changes.

Furthermore, Google provided an online mobile friendly test, which lets you gauge how responsive your site is to mobile devices. Additionally, you will be able to make changes at any time so as to feature higher on search rankings.

In order to be more mobile friendly, your website should:

•Load faster on mobile devices
•Resize pages to fit a mobile device’s screen
•Be easy to use on phones, with easy to click-on links
•Direct users to mobile URLs
•Have larger text ideal for mobile screens
•Have every page optimized, and not just the homepage
•Play video and show images without a problem

Whereas mobile user experience is now critical, it is just one more criteria that Google uses to rank sites. For this reason, you must ensure that your content is of high quality, relevant, and useful to the user as well. This is the best way to consistently rank higher on search results pages, and attract greater traffic to your site.

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